Sunday, November 19, 2017

Semifinal Slam

One Mic Open is having the first of the Semi-Final competitions for the Youth Poetry Slam Team at the Happy Dog at Euclid Tavern, Friday, December 1 from 8 to 11 PM. Donation to attend is $5/$3 students, but free to compete (if you're age 13 to 19)-- in fact, all youth of eligible age (13-19) will have no cover charge for the Semi Finals Pt. 1, 2 or Final stage, even if they don't compete. 
If you've never been to a poetry slam, this is something worth experiencing. Not for the aficionado of subtlety in poetry, a slam is in-your-face competitive poetry with a bad attitude. Miss this one? Look for the second Semi-Finals, January 5 at the Happy Dog.
Know any teenagers with a way with words and who wants to rumble?  Let them know! (Here are some tips.)

One Mic Open says:
One Mic Open is a grass roots youth literary arts education program geared towards bridging the gap between adults and youth, by having both share their work in a safe space at our open mic and slams. The ultimate goal of the slam series is to put together a four-six person team to compete at an international festival called Brave New Voices, sponsored by YouthSpeaks.
One Mic Open was created to reach the youth of not only Cleveland, but surrounding suburbs, in an effort to create a sense of community among the youth in North East Ohio. By sharing their talents, not limited only to poetry, at the open mic, we feel that they are creating a space in which they are free to be themselves in the most complete sense.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gordon Square Review!

Gordon Square
The Inaugural issue of Cleveland's new literary magazine, Gordon Square Review, just came out. Editor-in-chief Laura Maylene Walter writes about "the energy and sense of urgency that run throughout Gordon Square Review’s inaugural issue" in the editor's letter:
Whether it’s a poem like Scrapbook or a short story like Beasts Headed Home from the Party” by Hannah Lackoff (“We are young, we are wild, we are richer than we know”), our first issue glimmers with artful language, startling content, and innovative form. Watching this issue take shape confirmed that there’s not only room for a new online journal like Gordon Square Review, but that the depth of talent, both here in Northeast Ohio and beyond, demands it.
The zine rates a feature review by Michael Barron in Culture Trip:
The launch of the Gordon Square Review is a sign that literary journals might not be dying out after all. Cleveland is a literary city and Cleveland knows it. It was here that the literary theorist Fredric Jameson was born, here that writer Adelle Waldman first cut her teeth as a journalist, and here the novelist Sherwood Anderson had the nervous breakdown that led him to become a writer...
--and also a review by Anne Nickoloff in Cool Cleveland:
"It's really fascinating what kind of bizarre aesthetics emerged from our selections. Things that really surprised me, that I never would have had in my head when I went to start reading submissions," said Walter. "I think there are a lot of exciting pieces."
The review received more than 800 submissions, from Northeast Ohio... but also places as far away as Canada, Malaysia, the U.K. and India.
The lit-zine is sponsored by Cleveland's newest lit organization, Literary Cleveland.
"39 Planets (with Large Black Hand)" by Chris Pekoc
from Gordon Square Review, Nov. 2017
But, is there poetry in the issue?  But of course!  Poets featured include
--not to mention the contest winner, "On the Anniversary of the Kent State Shootings" by Mimi Plevin-Foust

And Gordon Square itself just got featured in none other than the New York Times as the hottest new thing going in Cleveland, at least in the arts. If it's the reason Cleveland's star shines according to the venerable NYT, maybe Gordon Square is something you should check out (come for the theatre... stay for the poetry! So don't forget to go up the road another mile and drop in at the Bowled over by Poetry at Mahall's reading, every first Monday of the month).


Friday, November 10, 2017

The City in Autumn

With the first hints of snow frosting the grass and asphalt of the city, the autumn issue of Kathy Smith's The City, a Cleveland 'zine of poetry and art, is out.
Worth a look!
image by Steven B. Smith for The City Autumn 2017


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau